Minerals




What Is Nutrient Density? What is a Nutrient Dense Food? Plus, What are Empty Calories?

This explanation of nutrient density and empty calories takes the form of a video presentation. The article contains the exact transcript of the video.



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Chelated Mineral

Chelated Mineral: A mineral that is chemically bound to another substance, which is usually an amino acid. Some examples are ferrous fumarate, chromium picolinate, and selenocysteine (chelated zinc). Chelated mineral supplements are often claimed to be better absorbed by the body since these forms are closer to how the minerals appear in the foods we eat. There is little direct evidence to support this claim. These minerals may be easier on the stomach, though.

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Mistaken Reasons that People Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Many people take vitamin and mineral supplements, not because they have a poor diet, but as added insurance against a lack of certain nutrients. This is probably not needed at all but the attitude is better safe than sorry and a little extra won't hurt. The fact is, extra will not likely do anything but cost you money. Still, many people have more specific reasons for taking supplements, usually because of ideas they have derived from nutrition misinformation. This article explores some of these reasons.

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The Impact of Zinc on Human Health: The Essential Toxin

Compared to several other metal ions with similar chemical properties, zinc is relatively harmless. Only exposure to high doses has toxic effects, making acute zinc intoxication a rare event. In addition to acute intoxication, long-term, high-dose zinc supplementation interferes with the uptake of copper. Hence, many of its toxic effects are in fact due to copper deficiency. While systemic homeostasis and efficient regulatory mechanisms on the cellular level generally prevent the uptake of cytotoxic doses of exogenous zinc, endogenous zinc plays a significant role in cytotoxic events in single cells. Here, zinc influences apoptosis by acting on several molecular regulators of programmed cell death, including caspases and proteins from the Bcl and Bax families. One organ where zinc is prominently involved in cell death is the brain, and cytotoxicity in consequence of ischemia or trauma involves the accumulation of free zinc. Rather than being a toxic metal ion, zinc is an essential trace element. Whereas intoxication by excessive exposure is rare, zinc deficiency is widespread and has a detrimental impact on growth, neuronal development, and immunity, and in severe cases its consequences are lethal. Zinc deficiency caused by malnutrition and foods with low bioavailability, aging, certain diseases, or deregulated homeostasis is a far more common risk to human health than intoxication.

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Selenium: An Essential Micronutrient

Selenium is an essential trace element for humans and animals, and selenium deficiency is associated with several disease conditions such as immune impairment. In addition, selenium intakes that are greater than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) appear to protect against certain types of cancers. In humans and animals, cell proliferation and death must be regulated to maintain tissue homeostasis, and it has been well documented that numerous human diseases are directly related to the control of cell cycle progression and apoptosis. Thus, the elucidation of the mechanisms by which selenium regulates the cell cycle and apoptosis can lead to a better understanding of the nature of selenium’s essentiality and its role in disease prevention. This article reviews the status of knowledge concerning the effect of selenium on cell cycle and apoptosis.

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